Chef Bardia Ilbeiggi Shares His Recipe for Nowruz Specialty, ‘Sabzi Polo’

Nowruz, the Persian New Year is coming up on Sunday, March 20th. To celebrate the holiday, Delara has planned a full-on feast, including one of owner and Chef Bardia Ilbeiggi’s most memorable dishes, ‘Sabzi Polo’ (Herbed Rice). However, if your plan for the day is to keep cozy and out of the rain, then consider trying your hand at making the recipe for the traditional dish yourself at home.

Sabzi Polo (Herbed Rice)
Yield: 4 portions

250g Persian or Basmati Rice
30g Parsley
30g Cilantro
30g Dill
35g Green onion
5g Garlic
15g Butter
10g Grapeseed Oil
100g Yogurt
1 small pinch Persian Saffron

Directions: Soak the rice in lukewarm water for an hour. In a pot, season 1.5L of water with 20g of salt and bring to boil. Carefully add the rice to the boiling water, bring to simmer and cook for 8 minutes until it reaches an al-dente texture. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process. Let the rice sit in the strainer until fully dry.

Combine the cooked rice with herbs, green onion and garlic.

Mix 250g of the cooked rice and herb mixture with yogurt and saffron water (to make saffron water, grind a pinch of saffron and dissolve in 10ml of boiling water). Heat up the oil and butter in a non-stick pan until the butter starts to foam. Swirl the fat around so it coats the surface of the pan. Transfer the yogurty rice to the pan and spread it in a thin, even layer. (Using a small silicone spatula is helpful.) Top up gently with the rest of the cooked rice. Wrap the lid with a kitchen cloth and cover the pan. This will absorb the steam and allow the rice to get crispy.

Cook on medium heat for 45 minutes. You should hear the low sound of sizzling at all times. Uncover and check the edges; they should be golden brown. Carefully flip onto a round plate and serve.

  • Nowruz feast at Delara
  • Nowruz feast at Delara
  • Nowruz feast at Delara
  • Nowruz feast at Delara
  • Nowruz feast at Delara

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